An eclectic set of headliners
The world's first major jazz festival did not begin in New Orleans or New York but rather on the French Riviera. Since it started in 1948, the Nice Jazz Festival has hosted some of the genre's biggest names, including Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. For the festival's 70th anniversary, the city of Nice has put together a programme that strikes a balance of pure jazz performers and internationally known artists from other musical movements.
Among the headliners expected to grace the stage at Place Masséna, near the Promenade des Anglais, you will not want to miss Gregory Porter. Backed up by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Nice Côte d'Azur Opera, the festival's sponsor will be paying homage to the crooner Nat King Cole. Talented Texan Gary Clark Jr. – who Barack Obama once called the “future of blues” – is known for his deft mix of blues, jazz, country and rock that will surely have the crowd begging for more!
Nice Jazz Festival: More than just jazz
Another highly anticipated performance will be given by Massive Attack, known for their dark sets and impressive visuals. The band from Bristol will be playing crowd pleasers from Mezzanine, its hit record released 20 years ago this year.
To lighten things up a bit, French rapper Orelsan will present his latest success, La fête est finie. Nigerian singer and saxophonist Seun Kuti will bring the excitement up a notch with the hypnotic rhythms inspired by his father Fela, who pioneered the afrobeat style.
Finally, at the Théâtre de Verdure, just a stone's throw from the Place Masséna, purists will get a chance to see renowned musicians from the contemporary scene. Trumpet player Avishai Cohen will be playing his project Big Vicious with a style that is part groovy part rock part psychedelic, while Joshua Redman will show off his talents as a soloist alongside Billy Art, a living legend among drummers. It is a rich and varied programme under the azure skies of Nice.
Nice Jazz Festival
16 to 21 July 2018